Knox County (TN) Gives OK to Self-Driving Shuttle to Test on Public Roads


March 12, 2021

Local Motors, which develops the autonomous shuttle called Olli, has been granted a vehicle tag that allows them to operate on a public road in Knox County, Tenn., for testing purposes.

The tag will give the system the ability to learn in mixed-traffic settings on Valley Vista Road, under the supervision of a certified safety attendant. In addition to closed-course and simulation-based testing, real-world environments such as public roads will contribute data that can be used to improve the safety and performance of Olli, Local Motors said.

“Local Motors is one of the companies helping solidify Knox County’s position as an innovation hub,” said Glenn Jacobs, mayor of Knox County. “Autonomous vehicles are the future. We are thrilled that Knox County is at the forefront of witnessing and helping this type of innovation move forward.

In 2020, the company added features to Olli 2.0, and continues working with user groups and customers to generate value for passengers and customers. The mileage traveled in Knox County will add to the thousands of miles Olli has already traveled autonomously, the company said.

“We’re excited to work closely with the mayor to advance the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles in Knox County,” said Vikrant Aggarwal, the president of Local Motors. “Local Motors has been operating in Knox County for almost six years, and we look forward to expanding our presence as we continue to grow.”

The company has completed a series of public and private deployments around the world. Current projects open to the public include deployments at National Harbor, Maryland; Thuwal, Saudia Arabia, and Turin, Italy. Completed projects for research include Sacramento, Calif., Arlington, Va., Rancho Cordova, California, and Peachtree Corners, Ga.



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